A group of people set sail on a psychiatrist’s boat to celebrate his upcoming nuptials. Unfortunately, one of the people on board turns out to be a deranged killer who enjoys butchering the other passengers. Will the remaining survivors be able to stop the murderer or are they all destined to be buried at sea?
I wasn’t very familiar with Blood Voyage (which is weird because I thought that I had seen-or at least heard of-all of the horror films from the 70’s and 80’s) so I did a little research on it before I watched it to see what it was all about. I thought that the premise sounded promising, so I have pretty high hopes for it when I popped it in my DVD player. It didn’t take very long after I started watching it for me to realize that I was about to be let down in a major way. I’m not saying that it is a terrible movie (a bad one though, well maybe), but it could have been a whole lot better. I was expecting it to be an entertaining little slash and hack/whodunit flick with an enormous helping of 1970’s cheese on the side, but what I got instead was a pretty dull, easy to figure out murder mystery that probably would have been an ABC made for TV movie back in the day if not for all of the nudity and scenes involving Heroin use.
One of the problems that I had with the movie (in addition to the horrible score that reminded me of the Muzak that used to play over the speakers at the local Taylor Pharmacy when I was a kid back in the late 70’s that annoyed the piss out of me and most likely every other shopper who was subjected to it) was the fact that the characters were all horrible. We have the sleazy psychiatrist guy who was marrying a woman over half his age, his weird stepdaughter (whose voice reminded me of a mentally retarded Tippi Hedren) who states early on in the movie that she wants to kill her stepdad so she can get her hands on his money, a recent Vietnam veteran who is unstable as they come, and one of the doctor’s off her rocker patients who pretty much sits around staring off into space when she isn’t trying to get Heroin or some other drug from the other passengers (why was she invited on this trip again?), and your usual bunch of stereotypical, interchangeable deckhands and cooks that work on the boat. I didn’t give a shit about a single one of them so I wasn’t too broken up when they started getting killed off. As a matter of fact, the biggest majority of them were so unlikeable or just plain annoying that they didn’t get killed off soon enough if you ask me. As I’ve said before in other reviews, if you have a movie that only features unlikable characters then I pretty much lose any interest in it right off the bat (which is pretty much what happened in this instance).
I also thought that the mystery was very weak and I figured it out almost immediately once a certain character was introduced. I doubt that many viewers will have trouble successfully deducing the identity of the killer despite the fact that there are like 10 pretty obvious red herrings added to the mix that are supposed to throw you off (but really don’t). We are beaten over the head with clues that point to a certain character early on, and as the movie progressed I half expected that character to don a shirt at one point that read “Hey there viewers! I’m the killer in case you haven’t figured it out yet!” Needless to say you don’t have to be a seasoned homicide detective to crack this case, and if you are looking for some sort of neat swerve or twist at the end you will be disappointed.
On the bright side, if you are a fan of full frontal female nudity (and who isn’t?) then you will be happy with this film as there is an abundance of it. Hell, just a few minutes into it we get to see our first of many sets of bare boobs (and get a brief glimpse of even more). I guess since the people responsible for the movie knew it wasn’t very good they decided to make sure that all the female characters were topless as much as possible just make sure that the dudes (and some of the ladies) that were watching it would pay attention and to distract them from realizing that the plot and pretty much everything else about the film was pretty lousy. All the straight female viewers out there get pretty much jack shit though unless they are turned on by a guy running around without a shirt on that has so much chest hair it appears that he has a dead possum strapped to his chest.
Blood Voyage had the potential to be a very good movie, but the end result is less than impressive. It is basically just another forgettable half-assed 70’s horror movie and as I was watching it it became pretty obvious to me as to why I had never heard of it before. It doesn’t really have a lot going for it and unless you enjoy boring films with an easy to figure out mystery and a killer that runs around giggling like the Joker (which gets annoying very, very fast) then this is one cruise you can skip.
Blood Voyage (1976)